Hello Sunshines! I have the huge pleasure to be todays stop on this brilliant blog tour for; Metropolis by Ellie Midwood, not only will I be telling you all about this wonderful book, but I have an exclusive excerpt which you will love, so settle back grab a cuppa and enjoy!
Metropolis by Ellie Midwood
Publication Date: January 31, 2020
Paperback & eBook; 238 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Weimar Berlin, 1924
Unemployed actors, profiteers, cabaret girls, and impoverished aristocracy – out of this wild set of characters populating Weimar Berlin, Margarete Gräfin von Steinhoff belongs to the latter category. Having lost everything due to hyper-inflation, she considers jumping into the freezing waters of the Spree rather than facing the humiliating existence shared by millions of her fellow Germans. However, a chance meeting makes her change her mind at the last moment and offers her a chance to rely on the help of the metropolis itself, where anything can be sold and bought for money and where connections are everything. The bustling nightlife of cosmopolitan Berlin, with its casinos and dance halls, brings good income for the ones who don’t burden themselves too heavily with morals.
After a New Year’s Eve party, Margot finally meets her ever-absent and mysterious neighbor, Paul Schneider, who makes a living by producing a certain type of film for his rich clientele. Under his guidance, Margot discovers a new passion of hers – photography and soon, her talents are noticed by the prominent newspaper, Berliner Tageblatt itself. But being an official photographer of the most celebrated events of the La Scala and most famous Berlin theaters no longer satisfies Margot’s ambitions. As soon as the chance presents itself for her to get involved with the cinematography on the set of “Metropolis” – the film with the highest budget ever produced by the UFA – Margot jumps at it, without thinking twice. At the same time, Paul becomes involved with a rival project, “The Holy Mountain,” which stars an as yet unknown actress and an emerging director in, Leni Riefenstahl. As the two women meet, professional rivalry soon turns into a true friendship, fueled by their passion for cinematography. However, due to the economic woes facing Germany, both projects soon run out of money and now, both film crews must go to extreme lengths to save their respective productions.
Set against the backdrop of a decadent, vibrant, and fascinatingly liberal Weimar Berlin, “Metropolis” is a novel of survival, self-discovery, and self-sacrifice, in the name of art, love, and friendship.
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Before the end of summer, Paul packed his well-traveled trunks and was gone to Austria. On the platform of the Lehrter Bahnhof, he kissed Margot ceremoniously on both cheeks, like a French general, looked at her long and hard, squeezed her shoulders, wished her only the best, and jumped on the train without a second look. Ernst also spent most of his time with Altendorf in their new headquarters and Margot was suddenly all alone; alone in the city with myriads of faces around her.
She had not much to do with all that free time and began going to the theaters during the day; watched rehearsals and chatted with the directors, who puffed out their chests and bragged about selling out an entire place for two months in the row – and in such times! – in order to impress her. Margot listened politely but disappeared backstage as soon as the opportunity presented itself and sat at a table in the room filled with cigarette smoke to such an extent that it made her eyes water and listened to actors rehearse their lines, in affected voices.
She sat and observed and took photos from time to time – of the conservatory girls who wore expensive silk stockings and sat separately from the drama school girls, who spoke with broad Berlin accents and quietly hated the conservatory girls because the conservatory girls always got all the good lines and could recite Hamlet in its original English and had long ago mastered the outburst technique. Sometimes, she ventured into the corridor where male extras consulted rehearsal schedules and gossiped about the leading actor’s new flame, the lucky sod, not even a Berliner, a provincial kind, wherever they found him and now he dines at the Resi while they eat at the Troika and that’s on the opening nights only.
The stage and the new actors were for the Tageblatt; the backstage photos were for her eyes only. In Margot’s opinion, they were the ones that ought to have been printed, and not that staged boredom that Paul had taught her well to despise. The true-life was there, behind the scenes, stretching and exercising at the bars and singing on top of each other and singing even louder and lifting legs even higher when the director would venture into their little kingdom and observe them with a mildly disapproving look before marching straight to the leading actress’ room to puff out his chest even more and smile and ask whether the champagne was cold enough and the light wasn’t too bright.
Margot observed it all and took more photos and sent some of them – her most interesting ones – to Paul. From him, an envelope would arrive a week or so later, with photos he took. He was excited; they were filming in Zermatt now, supposedly, the most beautiful mountain landscape in the whole of Europe. Weisshorn, Monte Rosa, Matterhorn – the picturesque mountain peaks and an unfamiliar, bearded man gazing up at them, shielding his eyes from the sun with his hand. Must be Fanck, Margot decided, the director. For some reason, she was relieved that it wasn’t the leading actress that Paul was taking photos of.
It was sad and amusing, the fact that they hardly exchanged a few words apart from a couple of lines jotted down on the back of the photos and a rare phone call – Margot was almost always gone at night and Paul was always in the mountains during the day. But then one morning, Dora brought her a particularly thick envelope. Enclosed in it, Margot found all of the clippings from the Tageblatt, every single photo of hers that they published and a small card from Paul with ‘I watch Berlin dance through your eyes – it has never been more beautiful,’ and Margot arrived at the Scala late and with red eyes and couldn’t remember the name of the new gymnast she was there to film, for the life of her.
About the Author
Ellie Midwood is a USA Today bestselling and award-winning historical fiction author. She owes her interest in the history of the Second World War to her grandfather, Junior Sergeant in the 2nd Guards Tank Army of the First Belorussian Front, who began telling her about his experiences on the frontline when she was a young girl. Growing up, her interest in history only deepened and transformed from reading about the war to writing about it. After obtaining her BA in Linguistics, Ellie decided to make writing her full-time career and began working on her first full-length historical novel, “The Girl from Berlin.” Ellie is continuously enriching her library with new research material and feeds her passion for WWII and Holocaust history by collecting rare memorabilia and documents.
In her free time, Ellie is a health-obsessed yoga enthusiast, neat freak, adventurer, Nazi Germany history expert, polyglot, philosopher, a proud Jew, and a doggie mama. Ellie lives in New York with her fiancé and their Chihuahua named Shark Bait.
For more information on Ellie and her novels, please visit her website. You can also find her on Facebook, Amazon, and Goodreads.
Blog Tour Schedule
Friday, January 31
Review at Passages to the Past
Feature at View from the Birdhouse
Monday, February 3
Review at Broken Teepee
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Tuesday, February 4
Feature at Comet Readings
Wednesday, February 5
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books
Friday, February 7
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Saturday, February 8
Excerpt at Robin Loves Reading
Wednesday, February 12
Review at Books and Zebras
Excerpt at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals
Thursday, February 13
Review & Guest Post at Tales from the Book Dragon
Friday, February 14
Review at Clarissa Reads it All
Feature at I’m All About Books
Sunday, February 16
Review at Reading is My Remedy
Monday, February 17
Review at Nurse Bookie
Wednesday, February 19
Review at Historical Graffiti
Thursday, February 20
Review at Books In Their Natural Habitat
Friday, February 21
Review at YA, It’s Lit
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of Metropolis! To enter, please use the Gleam form here – Metropolis
– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on February 21st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.
2 thoughts on “#BlogTour | Metropolis by Ellie Midwood #Metropolis #Excerpt #HFVBTBlogTours @hfvbt”
This book was incredible! Thank you so much for sharing it with your readers!
HF Virtual Book Tours
My pleasure! This book does look amazing, it is definitely on the ‘Need to Read’ list, thank you! xx